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Ngakma Zér-mé Dri’mèd
Ngakma Zér-mé has been an active practitioner of Buddhism since 1980. Before she met Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen, she practiced in the Soto Zen tradition and later the Shambhala térma of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She became an apprentice in 1998 and took ordination in 2004.
Her teaching experience began in Shambhala Training in the early 1990s. Over the years she has taught many weekend programmes in that cycle, and has enjoyed working with students on an individual basis as a Meditation Instructor.
She says: “My Lamas are constantly teaching me how to have kindness and appreciation for myself, and that has always been the key for the students with whom I have worked. I try to offer them the unconditionality of attention and appreciation, as a starting point in terms of how they might see their own lives. My Lamas and my earlier teachers, especially Charlotte Joko Beck, have also engaged my own sharpness in a way that allows me to enjoy clarity. The phenomenal world has provided a number of wary, smart seekers as students, and I have found great pleasure in working with them. If nothing else, I hope I can be an example of someone who practises formally and diligently and also attempts to enjoy all of an ordinary human life as containing the possibility of realization—a serious practitioner with a sense of humour. As a disciple of the most unremitting punster in the Buddhist world, I can tell you that this is a useful quality. My husband, Carl Grundberg, and I own five acres and a house in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, and I could happily spend the rest of my life getting to know the plants, animals, fungi, and elements of that place. If I have a hope for my future as a teacher, it would be to be able some day to transmit the teachings and practices of living the view, enjoying the sense fields, and participating in the infinite purity of the phenomenal world in all of life.
“In the last year of his life, John Muir wrote the following. The words still bring tears to my eyes:
“Not like my taking the veil—no solemn abjuration of the world. I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
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